Best Ever Lemon Meringue Pie

This is the most delicious lemon meringue pie I have personally ever tasted and it is all about the filling.  Many recipes use a lemon curd  but I find that with the addition of cream to the curd mixture, it creates a softer more balanced flavour and it is truly utterly delicious.

You don’t need to make your own pastry, buy a commercial sweet short pastry if you prefer.  If doing so then ignore the first 5 ingredients.
Make sure the meringue is spooned onto a piping hot filling.  This helps to cook the meringue so that it doesn’t need extended cooking time in the oven.

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • Pastry:
  • 2 cups (290g/10.22) flour
  • 1/4 cup (50g/17oz) sugar
  • 125g (4.4oz) butter, well chilled and roughly chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons ice cold water
  • Filling:
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup (125ml/4.22 fluid oz) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/4 cups (250g/8.8oz) sugar
  • 1 cup (250ml/8.45 fluid oz) cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornflour
  • Meringue
  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups caster sugar
  • 1 rounded teaspoon cornflour

Method

If making your own pastry;  place the flour and sugar into the bowl of a food processor.  With the motor running drop in butter piece by piece until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Add the egg and 1 tablespoon water, pulse until the mixture comes together in a ball, adding the extra water if needed.  Wrap pastry and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Grease a 23cm removable base tart tin and roll the pastry out to form a disc 2.5cm/1 inch wider than the tin.  Drape the pastry over and let it fall over the edges.  Press the pastry into edges of the tin and then roll a rowing pin over the top to break off the pastry.  Prick the base a few times with a fork. Chill for 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F.
Cover the pastry with foil or baking paper and then weights such as dried rice.
Bake for 15 minutes before removing the weights and cooking a few minutes more until the pastry is firm and a light biscuit colour.

In a small saucepan whisk the egg yolks, egg, sugar, lemon juice, zest, sugar, cream and cornflour together over a gentle heat until the mixture boils and thickens.  Remove the heat.

To make the meringue: In a clean bowl beat the egg whites until fluffy and then gradually add the sugar until the mixture makes a glossy meringue, continue to beat for a total of about 8 minutes, mixing in the cornflour at the end of mixing. An electric mixer is best for meringue.

Make sure that the lemon filling is hot, spoon it into the tart shell, smoothing to make it even.
Spoon the meringue over the filling making a higher mound in the centre.  Make waves in the meringue with the back of a spoon.
Bake for 15 minutes until the meringue feels firm and is lightly coloured (it will be firm as opposed to crisp).
Allow to cool until easy to handle and then remove from the tin.  Serve just warm or chill to serve later.  I often serve it just warm although traditionally it is chilled.

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